Welcome to our backlinking cheat sheet.¬† This is a list of the industry backlinking strategies- the good, the bad and the optimized!¬† If you like this post make sure to read up on the most effective and holistic backlinking strategies to start your journey into the hard work of backlinking.
As you probably already know, some backlink building strategies are dangerous.¬† There are black hat SEO methods that can either help your site ranking or kill your chances forever.¬† We do not condone ‘secret’ backlinking strategies but have shared some of them with you so that you can make your own decisions.¬† ¬† We hear our readers saying ‘Google keeps changing their algorithm and I have to start over all the time.’ If you are afraid of Google’s algorithm changes it is probably because you have based your SEO model on trying to ‘cheat’ or ‘trick’ the Google search engine.¬† Play nice and Google won’t get mad and punish you.
Let’s get started using backlinks to help improve organic traffic to your highly converting site that has been optimized to the max!
Directory Submissions- Danger Level: Medium
Directory submissions are often the backlinker’s first step because they are an easy way of getting valuable inbound links. Find directories related to your site and submit links to your quality and relevant landing pages. Hopefully, this will not only help your page rank but also get you some qualified traffic from people browsing the directories for pertinent links.
Human edited directories, the ones that charge a small fee to evaluate your site and then don’t ultimately always approve it- increase your page ranking the most and are safe. We do not recommend you use directories that are not monitored because they might turn out to be a Free For All site, link farm, or a Made For Adsense site. Currently, the larger search engines will not penalize you for being part of those spammy directories, but they will not help your ranking, are a waste of your time, and might ultimately hurt you depending on the changes in your search engines’ algorithms.
Some rules to follow to be sure your directory submissions are worthwhile:
Reciprocal linking is the art of trading links with another site.¬† You link to them they link to you.¬† This method has lost a lot of ground lately because it can be considered a method of trying to ‘cheat’ the system- if all your inbound links coincide with outbound links on your site, it looks fishy to your friendly search engines.¬† Link trading can still be effective, especially if implemented honestly and properly.¬† The following are some things you should be sure of before trading links with any site:
The strategy of buying links is not something search engines are always able to plan for and prevent, but trust me, they do not like it.¬†¬† Despite that fact, a lot of people and SEO professionals continue to use this black hat technique.¬† Buying backlinks can help improve your search engine ranking quickly and easily but in many cases, Google reprimands and punishes sites that both sell or purchase backlinks.¬† If you do decide this strategy is worthwhile for you, make sure you follow these simple rules to help increase your chances of being successful:
A rather holistic approach to getting backlinks is to ask for people with related sites to feature links on their site or blog. This strategy assures you are linking to highly ranked pages with relevant content.¬† It has the added benefit of you getting to know some of the other people working in your industry.¬† With the internet being the communication hub that it is, you can use this backlinking strategy as a way to form relationships.¬† If you take the chance to start a conversation over backlinking, maybe you will hit it off and one or a few of those sites might refer clients to you one day.¬† The worst case scenario is that a related site in your industry does not link to your site, and there is really no harm there.
To get the most value from this backlinking strategy start with retailers, suppliers, vendors and other related sites that you already do business with or know somehow. The people who run those sites are likely to respond positively to your request. ¬† For example, we here at FutureNow use Google Analytics as a tool all the time and are more than happy to backlink to them.
A great way to get backlinks is to write guest blog posts.¬† Ask bloggers in related fields if you can submit an article on their site. Highly ranked blogs get a lot of these requests, so be sure to outline the content and goal of the post you plan to write and convey how it is related to the blog you wish to write for when you make your request.¬† The more your submitted content adds value to the blog you are requesting to guest post on, the more likely the blogger will be receptive to your request.
Sites are so greedy for quality content- or any content for that matter, that you can even publish your content, including a backlink to your site, to a free article directory like articlesbase.com. Posting articles on these sites provides an easy way of getting links and diverting traffic to your website.
You can use press releases to inform clients and potential clients of product launches, annual reports, community involvement, contests, incentives-whatever you think is relevant.¬† Just like any other backlinking services you get involved with, you need to make sure the press release service you use is high quality and ranks highly¬† in search engines.¬† A lot of the higher quality press release services like MarketWire and PRWeb will cost a small fee. If your news is worth sharing and will bring a positive response to your site, the fee will be worth it.¬† If you use a low quality service your efforts might be a waste of time or worse yet you might be negatively affected by the next search engine algorithm update.
To make your press release the most efficient marketing strategy, you need to make sure it is written well and that the content will persuade visitors to visit your site. If the content is good, it will not only persuade people to visit your site, it will get people to link back to your site.
You can post comments on blogs as a way to get backlinks- just make sure you aren’t guilty of spamming them.¬† Real people have to moderate blog comments and you are wasting their time and yours if your comment is not appropriate.¬† If you offer an insightful comment along with your backlink it might actually be the first step to creating a trusting relationship with other people reading the article. You can comment on a ton of blogs to build backlinks but if you do it properly, you will also get traffic from those links. Some guidelines to follow to make sure that your backlinks will get approved:
In it‚Äôs essence, social media marketing is the online way of calling a friend and telling them about something cool you saw in the online world.¬† When your company does something totally awesome, relevant, or interesting, you can share it with whoever might be a friend to your company.¬† When you post relevant and interesting content in your social media campaigns users will bookmark you and share your link with friends who they think might be interested.¬† The better your content is, the more people will share the link on social media platforms bringing more qualified guests back to your site. So, ask yourself what is ‚Äėshareable‚Äô information that you can offer every time you post something.
Search engines will look at the page everyone is linking to on your social media sites and think ‚Äúwow, that page offers something great, I better give it a high ranking.‚ÄĚ¬† Voila!¬† The key to this and all techniques in both the on and offline world is to make sure your products or services is worth talking about.
You should already be involved in forums that cover topics related to your business.¬† This is a great strategy to stay in tune with your customers that you didn‚Äôt have the opportunity to harness before the Internet came around.¬† People who are involved in forums are usually the most active in your particular industry overall.¬† They are obviously interested in what you offer and use their computers as a resource.¬† Communicating with people in relevant forums about your product of service gives them the opportunity to ask questions and you the chance to know what your customers want on the ground level. This is awesome qualitative research!
If you are not involved in relevant forums yet, we can help you dip your toes in.¬† First, start a new thread on related forums or reply to already existing threads. Don‚Äôt push your links from the outset.¬† Actually, never push your links in forums because you will ruin your reputation.¬† If your product or service is relevant to a thread, then you can offer your link as a helpful resource.
Link baiting is the art of using incentives online. If you are offering something to enrich the lives of people on your site, expecting nothing in return‚Ä¶you are likely to get a lot of attention.¬†¬†
Most common link baiting strategies include contests, provide something useful free of cost or relate a controversial topic.¬† You can use anything that might help attract user attention and we recommend you use creativity and stay relevant.¬† You can always offer a free Ipod Nano on your mountain bike tires site for people who sign up for your newsletter.¬† A more effective strategy would be to offer a free set of tires, a ticket to a pre screening of a mountain biking film or a short synopsis of the injury and death rates of mountain bikers. ¬† The main objective of link baiting is to provide something really unique and useful so as to motivate each and every user to naturally link back to the page where you offer the incentive.
Having a blog on your site gives you way to show that your company continues to be relevant in your industry by producing new and fresh content regularly. Some people will come to trust you and might even subscribe to your blog.¬† If you do a really great job other sites and blogs will reference your posts and site in general as having information relevant in your industry. Your blog can also be a great place for your guests to give feedback and create a community with one another on a relevant topic.¬† You can promote your blog using RSS feeds will help achieve even better results since it will increase not only site traffic, but also the number of resulting backlinks.
Give Credit Where Credit Is Due- Danger Level: Low
Reference major search engines on your site.¬† Use Google+.¬† Thank Yahoo on your site for all the traffic it brings you everyday.¬† Tell Bing you care.¬† Be compassionate toward the free services that not only rank your content everyday but rank other peoples with complex algorithms that are made to deliver the most relevant solution to your own personal query’s as possible. Why do this?¬† What if Google or Yahoo aren’t relevant to your site?¬† Do it because search engines rank pages higher that reference them.¬† Let’s not pretend for a second that they don’t need PR too.¬† If you don’t think they are relevant than why are you reading about how to communicate, manipulate and placate them?¬† They are very relevant to your online business and maybe you could find a place in your heart (site) for them.
While building up your page rank in Google can help you get more traffic, optimizing your site for conversions will always be the fastest and easiest way to increase your ROI.¬† there is no point in getting more guests to your site if they do not become a lead, but a product or sign up for a service once they get there.¬† The first step to your online marketing strategy should always be to make sure your site is optimized.
Now you know all you will ever need to and more about backlinking.¬† If¬† you have already started your work improving organic SEO, what strategies do you find are most effective for you?¬† Has backlinking been a rewarding process or a waste or time?¬† Do you keep track of your organic rank improvements and are you confident you know exactly what has been worth your time and what might not have helped at all?¬† If you are struggling with organic and qualified traffic, we can help! Getting the right people to your website is intrinsic to the process of creating a highly converting site.